8 Most Beautiful Tropical Elopement Destinations in the U.S.

November 4, 2022

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Picture this: you and your boo are exchanging vows with the sun shining down on your faces, palm trees swaying in the breeze around you, the waves of the ocean crashing in the background and the feel of the sand between your toes grounding you in this beautiful, tranquil moment. Away from normal life, surrounded by your closest loved ones, and with a piña colada nearby, just waiting to be cheers-ed after your first kiss 😉 That, my friends, is what your tropical elopement could look like, celebrated in a warm, inviting location filled with all those laid-back, chill vibes you know, love, and thrive in. Who’s ready to find out the 8 best U.S. tropical elopement destinations where you can bring this scenario to life?!

wedding party standing together on beach

In addition to our top 8 favorite tropical places to elope within the country (so you can get those tropical vibes without a passport), we’ve included 10 fun tropical elopement ideas, our best tropical elopement tips, and a TON of tropical elopement decor inspiration. Seriously – you won’t even need to spend hours on Pinterest anymore after scrolling through these stunning tropical elopement decorations that some of our past couples put together!

Ready to put on your sunglasses, lather on some sunscreen, and feel the warm sand beneath your feet – oh, and to marry the love of your life? Let’s dive (ocean pun intended) in!

bride and groom walking together

8 Best Tropical Elopement Destinations in the U.S.

1. Oahu, Hawaii

Pros & cons of eloping on Oahu:

Pros:

  • There’s no waiting period once you get your Hawaii marriage license
  • World-famous surfing opportunities
  • Vibrant rolling green hills
  • Tons of beautiful waterfalls
  • Luscious botanical gardens
  • Variety of secluded beaches
  • Downtown Honolulu area for couples who want some city nightlife

Cons:

  • Must get an additional Wiki Permit for any elopements at state parks or public beaches
  • Accommodations + travel get very expensive during peak tourist season
  • Beach wedding & photoshoot regulations have become more strict in recent years
  • Many locations get very crowded with tourists during the summer & holiday season
  • Some of the most popular hikes have recently become illegal/off-limits
  • Lots of traffic in many tourist areas

Top tropical places to elope on Oahu:

Oahu elopement costs:

For some insight into how much it might cost ya to elope on Oahu or any of the other Hawaiian islands, take a look at our guide to Hawaii Elopement Costs: Ways to Save + Our Top Budgeting Tips!

bride and groom getting married oahu hawaii

2. Maui, Hawaii

Pros & cons of eloping on Maui:

Pros:

  • There’s no waiting period once you get your Hawaii marriage license
  • Stunning sacred valleys
  • World-famous beaches
  • Epic volcanic landscapes
  • Delicious farm-to-table cuisine
  • Slower, more relaxed lifestyle than Oahu

Cons:

  • Must get an additional Wiki Permit for any elopements at state parks or public beaches
  • Additional Haleakalā Sunrise Reservations needed for sunrise visits to Halekalā National Park
  • Expensive; not many budget-friendly accommodation options
  • Heavy rain during the rainy season
  • Busy with tourists during the summer & holiday season

Top tropical places to elope on Maui:

bride and groom kissing maui hawaii

3. Kauai, Hawaii

Pros & cons of eloping on Kauai:

Pros:

  • There’s no waiting period once you get your Hawaii marriage license
  • Dramatic, colorful canyons
  • Stunning Napali Coast
  • Pristine white sand beaches
  • Tons of epic hiking trails
  • Rural & undeveloped farm land
  • It’s small enough to explore a majority of the island in one trip

Cons:

  • Must get an additional Wiki Permit for any elopements at state parks or public beaches
  • Accommodations + travel get very expensive during peak tourist season
  • It’s the rainiest island
  • The beaches are prone to rip currents

Top tropical places to elope on Kauai:

bride and groom standing together waterfall kauai hawaii

4. Big Island, Hawaii

Pros & cons of eloping on the Big Island:

Pros:

  • There’s no waiting period once you get your Hawaii marriage license
  • Epic black sand beaches (and even a unique green sand beach!)
  • Dynamic + diverse landscapes and climate zones
  • Beautiful volcanic landscapes
  • Fiery Kilauea crater
  • Incredible whale-watching opportunities

Cons:

  • Must get an additional Wiki Permit for any elopements at state parks or public beaches
  • Heavy rain & storms during rainy season, especially in the afternoons
  • The island is large, so you have to take a bit of a drive to explore different areas
  • The Kailua-Kona area is pretty touristy

Top tropical places to elope on the Big Island:

Love the idea of eloping in Hawaii and want some more epic location reccs? Check out our Comprehensive List of the Best Places to Elope in Hawaii in 2023!

bride and groom kissing big island hawaii

5. Florida

Pros & cons of eloping in Florida:

Pros:

  • Access to Disney & Universal Studios!!
  • Lots of sunshine & warm temperatures through the whole year
  • Very touristy
  • Scenic swamps, wildlife preserves, & outdoor areas to explore
  • White sand beaches
  • Clear blue waters to swim in

Cons:

  • Potential for hurricanes & extreme weather
  • Can get very humid and too hot to want to be outside
  • Accommodations in touristy areas can get pretty expensive
  • There’s a required 3-day waiting period once you g t your Florida marriage license

Top tropical places to elope in Florida:

bride and groom standing together beach florida

6. US Virgin Islands

Pros & cons of eloping in the US Virgin Islands:

Pros:

  • Warm Caribbean waters + stunning beaches
  • There are 6 national parks across the main islands!
  • The lifestyle is warm, friendly, & welcoming
  • Amazing snorkeling opportunities
  • It’s easy to island hop
  • Warm, tropical t temperatures year-round

Cons:

  • There’s an 8-day waiting period after getting your marriage license – so you may want to do a symbolic ceremony instead of a legal one
  • Very touristy, especially during peak season when many cruises stop at the islands
  • Potential for hurricanes

Top tropical places to elope in the US Virgin Islands:

bride and groom walking together us virgin islands

7. California

Pros & cons of eloping in California:

Pros:

  • Diverse scenery across the state, from beaches to waterfalls to forests
  • 9 national parks!!
  • Easy to travel to via car or plane from other west coast states
  • There’s no waiting period once you get your CA marriage license!
  • Access to Disney & Universal Studios!!

Cons:

  • Certain areas can get very touristy
  • Lotsss of traffic in cities
  • Tourist areas can be expensive to stay in
  • High gas prices
  • Wildfires in the summer

Top tropical places to elope in California:

bride and groom getting married california

8. Las Vegas, Nevada

Pros & cons of eloping in Las Vegas:

Pros:

  • Plenty of tours, shows, & other fun entertainment to enjoy
  • Lots of shopping & delicious restaurant options
  • Access to epic desert locations nearby
  • Not too far from nice California beaches
  • Easy to have a quick courthouse elopement, since there’s no marriage license waiting period!

Cons:

  • Gets VERY hot and dry
  • Tourists everywhere
  • Expensive hotels
  • Lack of public transportation
  • Not much tropical greenery – just palm trees & hotel/resort pools

Top tropical places to elope in Las Vegas:

couple walking together las vegas

10 Fun Tropical Elopement Ideas

There are SO many unique + super fun possibilities available to you when it comes to planning a tropical elopement! Here are 10 fun tropical elopement ideas to help you totally personalize your special day and make it the most incredible experience possible, for both you and your guests.

1. Elope beneath a waterfall (then take a dip!)

2. Book a beachside brunch for you and your guests

3. Have a sunrise elopement ceremony overlooking the ocean

couple kissing on beach

4. Incorporate local foliage + flowers into your floral arrangements

5. Explore a cave for some epic couples portraits

couple standing together in cave

6. Treat yourselves to a romantic couples massage at a fancy beach resort by the ocean

7. Host a welcome party for your guests on the beach the day before your elopement

8. Serve snow cones or ice cream instead of wedding cake

bride and groom eating food together

9. Rent a beach house for you & your guests to stay at

wedding party at beach house

10. Fill your tropical elopement decor with bold, bright colors

Want even MORE fun ideas + ways you can totally personalize your elopement? Browse through this list of 60 Unique Elopement Ideas for Your Dream Elopement Day!

bride and groom opening champagne

5 Important Tropical Elopement Tips

Before we wrap up, we wanted to give you our top tips for your elopement in a tropical destination, based on our experience photographing & filming MANY tropical elopements.

1. Pick outfits with lightweight, breathable fabric

If you’re eloping somewhere tropical, it’s most likely going to be pretty warm and fairly humid. Keep this in mind when you’re choosing your tropical elopement outfits – you’ll want to avoid fabrics that are super thick, constricting, and heavy, since you don’t want to be super sweaty all day! Opt for fabrics that are light and easy to move around in such as chiffon or tulle, especially if you’ll be doing any sort of hiking or physical activity.

bride and groom standing together

2. Bring lots and lots of water

Pack at LEAST two water bottles per person and keep each other accountable for actually drinking it throughout the day. The humidity will drain you of hydration much quicker than you realize, and the adrenaline + excitement of your elopement can easily make you forget to drink water. It’s so important to stay hydrated in general, but especially in hot + humid climates!

3. Plan your hair & makeup look for a humid environment

If you’ll be eloping outdoors in the heat, humidity, and potential wind/rain, you’ll need to plan your hair and makeup accordingly. Keep your makeup as light as possible to avoid sweating it off or having it look super oily in the humidity, and use some hairspray if your hair gets frizzy easily in humid climates. And be sure to consider having at least some of your hair up & off your neck so you don’t get crazy hot during your elopement – braids are a great bridal updo, whether you fully braid your entire head of hair or just a portion of it!

4. Prepare for rainy and/or windy weather

Tropical climates are famous for their rainy, windy, and stormy weather! We all love the sun & warmth that tropical climates bring, but the reality is that, unfortunately, you won’t ALWAYS experience ideal temperatures, weather, and conditions. Make sure you plan for the potential of stormy weather by bringing umbrellas, rain jackets, and having backup plans + locations in place, as well as monitoring the current weather conditions in the weeks and days leading up to your elopement.

wedding set up beach house

5. Let the location speak for itself

Finally, remember to let your location speak for itself! Chances are, if you’re eloping in a tropical destination, you’re eloping there because you love the beautiful scenery – rolling green hills, streets lined with palm trees, and white sand beaches + bright blue water. You can absolutely keep your decor and details simple + minimalist if you want, and let the landscapes do the talking!

bride and groom walking together cliff

Tropical Elopement Decor Inspiration

By this point, you probably have a good (or at least better) idea of where you want to hold your tropical elopement. The next thing to figure out is: how do you want it to look/feel? Decor is one of the biggest ways you can customize your elopement to be totally YOU, and to bring to life your absolute dream elopement visions! We’ve had some pretty dang incredible couples elope in tropical locations recently, so we wanted to show off their unique ideas & the ways they incorporated their personalities + all the magical tropical vibes into their elopement. 

No need to go hunting through Pinterest to find ideas – here’s a compilation of our all-time favorite tropical elopement decor!

Tropical elopement florals

Tropical elopement dresses

Tropical elopement ceremony decor

Tropical elopement reception decor

Tropical Elopement Packages

I hope you enjoyed scrolling through all of that epic tropical elopement inspiration – we seriously will never get over all of these couples’ incredible ideas and sense of style. We are SO grateful that we got to photograph & film their special days, and document every detail that they put so much time + intention into planning – and we’d freakin’ love to document yours, too! 

When the time comes to hire your tropical elopement photographer & videographer, we’ll be ready to pack our bags full of swimsuits, sunglasses, and plenty of extra sunscreen for you to steal from us if you run out 😉

Take a look at our U.S. tropical elopement packages for both photo + video here, and you can check out even more examples of our work here. We can’t wait to hear from you!!

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